Bengaluru: Amid reports he was miffed at being denied BJP ticket for December 5 bypolls, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi on Friday said he was a “disciplined soldier” of the party and will abide by its decision.
He said the party which made him the Deputy Chief Minister, despite him not being a legislator, will decide on his future.
BJP has fielded disqualified Congress legislator Mahesh Kumatalli, who had defeated Savadi in 2018 assembly polls as the party candidate from Athani.
“I have been saying that I’m a disciplined soldier of the party. Whatever directions the party will give me following it has been my practice, since the beginning. I will abide by the party decision,” Savadi said.
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Speaking to reporters here, the deputy chief minister said he will put all possible efforts in the bypolls to campaign for the party candidates and ensure their victory.
Savadi was made Deputy Chief Minister despite him not being a member of the Assembly nor or the Council.
His induction into the cabinet had caused resentment among several senior BJP legislators as they felt sidelined.
Savadi had not been seen at party forums and was said to be “out of reach”, after BJP inducted disqualified MLA Kumatalli into the party and fielded him from Athani, from where he was planning to enter the fray.
Amid reports that Savadi was upset and sulking, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa spoke to him and also Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai made efforts to convince him, party sources said.
Responding to a question for not attending the party event where disqualified MLAs were inducted on Thursday, Savadi said, “Yesterday I had told party president, as I had personal programme, I could not attend the party event…I have met the Chief Minister and have discussed regarding the polls.”
Savadi, who is currently not the member of assembly or council, can continue as non-legislator Minister for six months, till February.
He is also staring at a possibility of being dropped from the Cabinet, with the talks doing rounds that disqualified Congress legislator from Gokak- Ramesh Jarkiholi may be made Deputy Chief Minister on getting elected in the bypolls, party sources said.
However, the sources said there were possibilities of retaining him by making him an MLC, if the leadership feels fit.
Reacting to a question on his future as Deputy CM, Savadi said, “Even though I’m not MLA, I have been made a Minister, also the Deputy Chief Minister, they (party leadership) will decide on the future… Why I should think about it, they (party) would have thought about it (while making me DCM).”
Stating the decision on Savadi’s induction into the cabinet and his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister was by the party high command, Yediyurappa had recently said, “Savadi is an exception and central leadership will take care of it.”
Upset at Savadi being denied a ticket, his supporters had threatened protests.
“Naturally, supporters are upset because they aspire that their leaders should get the ticket… About 25,000 supporters wanted to carry out a padayatra. I requested them not to do anything like that and I got it stopped,” he said.
Disqualified Congress MLA, Kumatalli who has now been given the BJP ticket had defeated Savadi in the 2018 bypolls by a margin of over 2,000 votes.